Director of the Center for Development Studies, Birzeit University

Director of the Masters Program in Community Development, Birzeit University

Email: isayrafi@birzeit.edu, director.cds@birzeit.edu

Educational Background:

Imad Sayrafi completed his PhD studies in International Development in the University of Vienna in Austria with distinction. His dissertation is entitled “Transformation of Rural Palestine: Change and Everyday Resistance in a Palestinian Village.” He received a PhD Scholarship from the Austrian Partnership Programme in Higher Education (APPEAR). He received his Master’s degree in Gender and Development Studies from Birzeit University in 2010.

Work Background:

He has more than 15-Years’ experience in the field of Development Studies and has been working in the Center for Development Studies since 2005. He had taken the position of a researcher in the Center for Development Studies in 2010. His work had included research, project coordination, and project implementation in various Palestinian communities in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Palestinian refugee camps in Palestine and exile. He was appointed as director of the Center for Development Studies (CDS) in 2021. He is also currently the director of the Masters Program in Community Development, at Birzeit University, in addition to teaching at the program.

Research interests:

His research interests include: Development sociology, Indigenous theory, settler colonialism, the study of social transformations in Palestinian communities, rural development, and the development of theoretical and methodological tools that further development theory and methods. He is currently working on a number of research projects including research on the effect of International Development on Palestinian social formations, and the project development discourse and practice in the Palestinian context (2021- Ongoing).


Masters Program in Community Development courses; CODE6300: Introduction to Community Development: Theory and Practice,
CODE 7300 | Alternative community development: Local and global perspectives.


Peer Reviewed Journal Publications:

Sayrafi, I. (2023). Toward an Indigenous development sociology methodology: Social reality and change in the Palestinian context. AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, 11771801231187184. https://doi.org/10.1177/11771801231187183

Burton Guy, Sayrafi Imad, and Abu Srour, Shatha. (2013): Inclusion or Transformation? An early Assessment of an empowerment project for disabled people in occupied Palestine. Disability and Society Journal, Volume 28, Issue 6. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09687599.2013.802223

Other Peer Reviewed Publications (Pedagogical):

Sayrafi, I., (2024). Prospects and challenges of an indigenous development sociology: reflections on researching the palestinian frontier. In Sage Research Methods: Diversifying and Decolonizing Research. SAGE Publications, Ltd., https://doi.org/10.4135/9781529691283

Research Studies:

Sayrafi, Imad (2022) Political Ecology and the Social solidarity Economies within the Power matrix in Rural Palestine. Center for Development Studies, Birzeit University. https://fada.birzeit.edu/handle/20.500.11889/6967.

Sayrafi, I. (2022). Survival, leverage, and rural development in Palestine: A sociological assessment of AFPS support to farmers in the Jordan Valley and Halhul. Center for Development Studies, Birzeit University. https://fada.birzeit.edu/handle/20.500.11889/6966.

Sayrafi, I., Amro, Z., Al Jamal, W., Naser, H., & Abu Khalil, M. (2022). Special schools for pwds: The issue of social identity. In Emancipatory disability research -EDR -West Bank- Palestine. Conducting emancipatory research in the Palestinian territories:   The experience in four governorates. Educaid. https://www.arcolab.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Ricerca-emancipatoria-Palestina-EDR.pdf

Sayrafi, Imad (2020) Transformation of rural Palestine: Change and everyday resistance in a Palestinian village. [PhD Dissertation] University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. https://utheses.univie.ac.at/detail/60171/

Abdul Majeed, Ayman, and Sayrafi, Imad (2016) Waqi’ al Nisa’ fi Qita’ al Zira’a fil Difa al Gharbiya: Tahadiyat wa Afaq [ The reality of Women in the Agricultural Sector in the West Bank: Challenges and Prospects]. [Research Study]. MIFTAH (in Arabic). Print. http://ramallah.noursoft.com/Records/IndexToPrint?libId=1&recordNo=38088

Jaber, Firas, and Sayrafi, Imad. (2014) Lending and Development Policies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. [Research Study]. Center for Development Studies, Birzeit University (Arabic and English). Print and Electronic. https://cds.birzeit.edu/lending-and-development-policies-in-the-occupied-palestinian-territory/

Sayrafi, Imad. (2014) Disability and Change in Society: A study on the Experiences of a group of People with Disabilities in advocacy in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, through the project “Empowering People with Disabilities to Claim Their Rights and Entitlements”. [Research Study]. Center for Development Studies, Birzeit University. Print (in Arabic). Electronic (Arabic and English).

Sayrafi, Imad.(2013) Invisible People: Women and Girls with Disability and Access to Rights Organizations in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Palestinian Refugee Camps in Lebanon. [Research Study]. Center for Development Studies, Birzeit University. Print (in Arabic). Electronic (Arabic and English).